The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its resolve to increase the attractiveness of the Nigerian capital market and ensure investor protection by riding the market of fraudsters.
The commission also revealed plans to reverse the current demography of participants in the market, hitherto comprised of aging investors, to include more millennia.
The Director General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, stated these at the virtual post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) media briefing, saying that the Commission would work towards simplifying the transaction process by ensuring timely and affordable access to the market.
According to him, the Commission would, as quickly as possible, resolve and bring all pending cases of infraction to a close.
“In order to increase the visibility and attractiveness of our market, we shall work towards maintaining an environment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to the market, zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practices.
“We need to attract the retail and young investors into the market. We need to attract more issuers. We need to demonstrate to investors that when they invest in the capital market, their investment is very secured and in the long term, their returns are really worth their investment, and that we would be able to generate returns that are above inflation.
“Thus, we will ensure strict enforcement of our rules and regulations, strengthen our enforcement regime and clamp down on illegal operators luring unsuspecting investors with various Ponzi Schemes.
“We have seen a lot of issues coming to the market, but we know that there are few cases of companies delisting. We need to demonstrate to issuers that there is a lot of value in being in the market and issuing securities periodically.
“So, we are going to continue work to attract investors, making sure the market is a fair playing field and the instruments traded in the market are fair and that investors are going to, actually, make profit by having their money in this market.
“For issuers, we are going to make sure that the benefit of listing and issuing in the market far outweighs benefits of borrowing from the bank.”
He assured that the Commission would continue to implement the ongoing initiatives of the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan and other related initiatives targeted at developing the capital market. He said that SEC would continuously seek ways to improve on the initiatives, while efforts are made to introduce new initiatives to the benefit of market stakeholders.
Owing to the infrastructure deficit in the country, which has been highlighted with the COVID-19 outbreak, Yuguda said that the Commission would increase its engagement with the government with a view to plugging the existing gap using the market. “We are going to work with the government and other government agencies to make sure that the policy environment is right for infrastructure development.”
Speaking further, he emphasized the need to also attract more pension fund assets in order to stave-off the impact of COVID-19 in the market. to drive millennia participation in capital market